Swimmers Head to Husky Invite, Divers at Texas Invite

Dec. 1, 2004

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The No. 11 UCLA swimming and diving team will split up this weekend to compete in Washington and Texas. The swim team will head to Federal Way, WA (the site of the 2005 Pac-10 Championships) to compete in the Husky Invitational, while the divers will head to Austin, TX for the Texas Invitational.

All but one Bruin swimmer will make the trip. Freshman Erin Ketchum is recovering from surgery and will not travel.

'We are looking forward to swimming in the pool where the Pac-10 Championships are being held in February,' said Head Coach Cyndi Gallagher. 'This meet will be a rehearsal for the Pac-10's and they will have plenty of opportunities to race over the next 3-4 days. The more races they swim, the more they learn, especially the freshmen who are not used to this schedule.'

The Bruins have already picked up 17 qualifying marks for the NCAA Championships and will look to increase that number this weekend. Junior Kim Vandenberg leads the team with five qualifying marks (200 Fly, 50 Free, 100 Free, 100 Fly, 200 Free), while sophomore Jane Imagane has two (500 Free, 1650 Free).

'Even though the team will only have a few days of rest, our goal is to swim life time bests and get as many swimmers (and relay teams) qualified for the NCAA Championships. Vandenberg, Katie Arnold and Imagane, to name a few, have been swimming exceptionally fast so far this season. I have no doubt they will pick up where they left off last year at NCAA's.'

'Our Fall training was intense and the team is in great shape. We are relatively healthy for this time of the season, so I have high expectations of what they can accomplish.'

At Texas, senior Co-Captain Janine Strack will compete in all three events (1M, 3M, and Platform), while juniors Amanda Blong and Paige Thompson will compete in both springboards (1M and 3M).and freshman Heather Peng will compete on the platform. Thursday will be the Three Meter competition, followed by the One Meter on Friday, and the Platform on Saturday.

Teams that are scheduled to compete are Texas, Nebraska, Hawaii, SMU, ASU, Wisconsin, Wyoming and New Mexico.

'I am really looking forward to this weekend,' said Head Dive Coach Tom Stebbins. 'This will be a big opportunity for my team against some very high level competition.'

After blowing off the competitive rust in Purdue at the beginning of last month, my team warmed up last weekend against the Arizona schools in our first dual meet. Our focus has been on this meet all fall, so I believe we are well prepared to make some things happen.'

After this weeekend's competitions, the Bruins will not return to action until Saturday, Jan. 15 in the final home meet of the season as they take on UC San Diego.